Dean Browning of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, is many things: a retired businessman, husband, and former member of the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners. He’s also a staunch conservative and congressional hopeful who lost his primary race earlier this year. What Dean Browning is not, however, is a Black gay man.
On Tuesday, eagle-eyed Twitter users noticed that Browning—a white man—responded to a tweet criticizing the president by describing himself as a “black gay guy” who supports President Trump. Not long after, Browning deleted the evidence and said he was simply quoting a message he recently received from a follower.
On November 8, Browning tweeted, “What Trump built in 4 years, Biden will destroy in 4 months.” On November 10, a Twitter user replied and wrote, “You mean what Obama build in 8 years.” The tweet went on to lambast Trump and his handling of the covid-19 pandemic.
Browning’s response was... odd: “I’m a black gay guy and I can personally say that Obama did nothing for me, my life only changed a little bit and it was for the worse. Everything is so much better under Trump though. I feel respected - which I never do when democrats are involved.”
After the tweet was discovered and Browning deleted it, he took the embarrassment in stride. In a tweet, he wrote, “Regarding the tweet that is going viral from my account — I was quoting a message that I received earlier this week from a follower.” He apologized for a lack of clarity.
A savvy Twitter user would assume Browning accidentally replied on his primary account instead of his fake black Trump supporter alt. Some Twitter sleuths suspected that Browning’s alt is @DanPurdy322, a Twitter account that was created in October, responds to Browning regularly, and is riddled with tweets like “Why are Black people so violent?” and “black women will be the death of America.”
But in a surprise twist that only 2020 could reap, it appears that Dan Purdy is actually who he says he is: A Black, gay Trump supporter who sent Browning a message about how Trump is chill, actually. Browning accidentally ended up posting the message as a reply, and voila, Twitter drama. (Still, some outstanding questions remain.)
But if this isn’t the conclusion people expected, two things remain clear: Browning’s politics are still despicable and this Purdy individual’s dedication to being a self-hating black gay Trump supporter—the token of every Republican’s dreams—is bleak.
Still, a nice distraction from that coup.
Update, 5:53 p.m.: A Twitter user believes that “Dan Purdy” is possibly a pseudonym for William Holte, who is the son of Patti LaBelle. What the fuck?
Update 5:57 p.m.: Yes, that’s him. He’s also an “anti-feminist TV critic.”